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Organizations

If you're looking to join and get active with an Italian or Italian American social, cultural, charitable or professional organization, this directory will help you out. It is also useful for those that want to sponsor one or donate to it or are just looking for general information. Scroll down for links. This is a work in progress and more links/resources will be added so keep checking back for updates. 

If you want to add your club or organization to this list, just email your info to Attn: Christopher Forte at theitaliancalifornian@gmx.com 


Officers of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Fratellanza Garibaldina Lodge #1627 in San Diego


Introduction


Most Italian American organizations started out as mutual benefit societies, as poor, disenfranchised immigrants pulling their resources together to help each other out. In the latter half of the 1800s and into the early 1900s, when the mass migration of Italians to the United States occurred, there were no government "safety nets": no welfare, no unemployment, no Obamacare, and even labor unions shunned them. In addition, these early immigrants faced prejudice and discrimination for being non-English speaking Catholic foreigners in a time when nativism was rife and the KKK was at its height, in a time when the majority saw America as a model White Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation. Therefore, most of the organizations below started out offering not only financial help to their members, but also assistance in helping immigrants assimilate and "become Americans."

Today, of course, these particular circumstances no longer exist, even for today's Italian immigrants, making these groups evolve and redefine their mission. While many of them still offer financial and medical benefits, and raise funds for various charities, instead of "Americanizing" their members, they now preserve their members' Italian heritage and pass it down to the next generation. They do this because now most of their members are comfortable as Americans, are at home in the USA and are very patriotic, so the need to prove our loyalty and "Americanness" no longer exists, allowing us to now focus on preserving and sharing the history of our Italian ancestors. 

There are, below, also Italian American organizations that are political and some that are business networks, like the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West, while a few, like the National Italian American Foundation, is a government lobby group in Washington, D.C. representing the desires of the Italian American community nationwide and acting as an ambassador between us and the nation of Italy.

History



National

Italian American Congressional Delegation



Based in Washington, D.C., NIAF’s mission is to serve as a resource for the Italian American Community; to preserve the Italian American heritage and culture; to promote and inspire a positive image and legacy of Italian Americans; and to strengthen and empower ties between the United States and Italy.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (COPOMIAO) is comprised of 58 cultural, educational, fraternal and anti-defamation groups that seek to preserve and promote our history and traditions for today’s generations, and tomorrow’s.

UNICO was founded on October 10, 1922 in Waterbury, Connecticut. A group of 15 men, led by Dr. Anthony P. Vastola, came together to create what has become a very special and very proud organization. It was Dr. Vastola's dream to create an Italian American service organization to engage in charitable works, support higher education, and perform patriotic deeds.

In addition to the national office, UNICO has many chapters throughout California. Visit their website above and click on "Locations" to find a chapter near you.


In addition to the national office, OSDIA has many lodges throughout California. Visit their website above and click on "Locations" to find a lodge near you.


Through families and fellowship, the Italian Catholic Federation promotes and supports the Catholic faith and its values, encourages apostolic and charitable works, and celebrates our Italian American heritage and all the heritages of our communities.

 


(formerly the American Italian Historical Association's Western Regional Chapter) founded 1974
An interdisciplinary association to promote understanding of the Italian experience in America
Convivio provides advocates, donors, and volunteers the organizational capacity to advance Italian cultural identity, preserve Italian cultural-heritage.
Cultural, Charity, Non Profit
San Diego, CA











The Little Italy Association of San Diego is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation that was established in 1996 to oversee and expedite the revitalization and beautification of the Little Italy neighborhood in Downtown San Diego. The Association represents the property owners, residents, and businesses of Little Italy.

MISSIONS

The Sons and Daughters of Italy missions include encouraging the study of the Italian language and culture in American schools and universities, preserving Italian American traditions, culture, history and heritage, and promoting closer cultural relations between the United States and Italy. The Fratellanza Garibaldina Lodge #1627 dos this out of San Diego.

ABOUT US

To this day, the objectives of the House of Italy remain:

- To Preserve and foster the art and culture of Italy

- To promote a spirit of goodwill amongst all nations

- To extend hospitality to all visitors

- To provide a family atmosphere for its members and guests,

- To sponsor activities and programs throughout the year,

- To inform visitors about Italian organizations in San Diego

- To have fun enjoying Italian cuisine, fine wine and good friends.
Come and visit us on Saturday and Sunday afteroons
in the International Cottage area of Balboa Park
between noon and 5:00 PM.
Or become a member and join us for an Italian family-style
dinner on the third Sunday of the month to have fun and make new friends

The Italian Cultural Center of San Diego is a non-profit organization, founded in 1981, in the heart of Little Italy, as a meeting point for people interested in Italian culture and language

An Italian National Parish in San Diego's Little Italy


Los Angeles




The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, or IAMLA, is located in the historic Italian Hall, which was constructed in 1908 to serve as a gathering place for the Italian community. Today, the Italian Hall is the oldest remaining structure from Los Angeles’ Italian enclave, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The IAMLA opened in 2016, and is jointly operated by the Historic Italian Hall Foundation and the City of Los Angeles.

Although Los Angeles is home to the nation’s fifth-largest Italian American population, the community’s history, which predates California’s statehood, was seldom explored until recently. By examining Southern California’s Italian roots, the IAMLA aims to promote understanding about a region and its history that is a microcosm of the nation and the world.


Little Italy of Los Angeles is a central gathering spot to highlight the lives, language, culture, and stories of Italians & Italian-Americans in Los Angeles.

Residents and visitors alike are welcome to experience the rich and lively Italian culture through hospitality, shopping and cultural events. Nestled right in the epicenter of the last remaining ethnic enclave of Italian Americans in Los Angeles, San Pedro has over a century of Italian history embedded into its roots.

The new downtown district is an innovative partnership among the Los Angeles Little Italy Association.


Established in 1987, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West (IACCW) is an independent, private, not-for-profit US corporation devoted to fostering business and trade opportunities between Italy and the United States. The IACCW is part of a large network of 81 Chambers operating in 55 countries, gathering over 25.000 members.

The IACCW leverages local resources combined with a global network to provide businesses with strategic and effective services in support of their internationalization and expansion efforts.

The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West is dedicated to assisting global minded professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses alike, in Italy and all over the West Coast of the US, as we offer our services to assist to a multitude of states, such as California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Utah,  Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii.

To find out more about our Chamber of Commerce, and what the Chamber can do for you, view our Membership Benefits proposal, email us at membership@iaccw.net. 


The Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) in Los Angeles is an office abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation dedicated to the promotion of Italian culture in the United States.
The organization and support of exhibitions, events and festivals in collaboration with the main local institutions, the development of academic exchanges, the incentive to publish Italian books, the promotion of the Italian language are among the main activities of the Institute.


Present Day St. Peter's Church

All Nationalities are welcome and all Italians may consider St. Peter's their parish.

St. Peter's Italian Church is the National Italian parish for Southern California. It was established as a mission church for the spiritual assistance of the Italian people in the spring of 1904.  

Throughout the years, St. Peter's has been a home for many where they could experience comfort, guidance, enlightenment, and family life in a true spirit of welcome and togetherness as well as celebrating the sacraments with much faith in the spirit of their culture and traditions.  

As a Catholic parish we are committed  to nurture the faith of God's people in a universal spirit, continue embracing all those who wish to come and celebrate  their faith with us as a true Christian family.   

We continue to value our historical heritage, by serving the Italian population and embrace the rich beauty of our traditions.

Staffed by Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians  
Missionaries for and with the migrants 

Fr. Fernando Cuevas, c.s. Pastor Fr. Raniero Alessandrini     

Monterey


Our Mission 
We're here to honor and preserve the stories, traditions, and culture of the Italian families who immigrated to the Monterey Peninsula and Central Coast of California more than 100 years ago.

San Jose 


MISSION

The Mission of Little Italy San Jose is to honor the contributions of Italian-American Immigrants to Santa Clara County by maintaining a Neighborhood, Museum & Cultural Center where people of all ethnicities can gather, and celebrate our rich Italian heritage & culture.

ABOUT US

Little Italy San Jose was founded  in 2010 by current President Joshua DeVincenzi Melander.  Little Italy San Jose officially received it's tax exempt status in 2010 after initially having a donor advised fund with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to sell engraved bricks to raise funds for the Gateway Arch. Early supporters of the initial founding were former Board Member and Co-Founder Debbie Caminiti, current board member, Sergio Oliveri and Advisory Board members Helen Marchese Owen and John A. Sobrato.  Little Italy San Jose's 1st Gala in 2009 and the Engraved Brick campaign were some of the initial fundraising events. 


About the IAHF

 The Italian American Heritage Foundation offers many services to our members, supporters and the community.

The IAHF Cultural Center features a social hall, complete kitchen, research library, historical photo exhibit of Italians in Santa Clara County, and several offices.

We are governed by a Board of Directors that meets at the Cultural Center on the second Tuesday of each month.

The Italian American Heritage Foundation is one of the largest and oldest Italian cultural centers on the West Coast.

Our monthly newsletter includes upcoming events, current and historical information on Italian Americans in Santa Clara County as well as various special interest articles.

Scholarships are awarded annually to high school and community college students.

Major donation are given annually to Opera San Jose, the Salvation Army, and other charitable organizations.

Italian and American customs, culture, folklore, and traditions are promoted through the annual Italian Family Festa, language classes, cooking classes, opera, musical programs, art shows, and film festivals.

Membership is open to everyone aged 18 years or older. Our one requirement is an interest in and promotion of all things Italian.

San Francisco

Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco

Founded in 1978, the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco is an official branch of the Italian Government dedicated to the promotion of Italian culture in the United States through the organization of cultural events and services.


We represent 25+ organizations in the Bay Area focused on promoting, preserving, and celebrating the Italian culture.

Consider us your gateway to all things Italian American in the Bay Area - from cultural events to local causes. Use this site to sign up for upcoming events, learn more about community efforts, become a member organization, partner with us, and more.


The Italian-American Community has been an integral part of
the economic and cultural fabric of California, and indeed the
San Francisco Bay Area since the 1800s.

 Today, ICS’s independently funded, community-based programs are a model for health and social service organizations nationwide. Italian Community Services (ICS) has been serving the Bay Area Italian-American community for nearly a century. But there is so much more to do! Our tagline, “Preserving Our Culture, Serving Our Community” sums up our mission, and sets the stage for engagement of our supporters, from young to old, from urban to suburban, from first-, second-, third- and even fifth and sixth generation Italian Americans, and those who are “Italian at heart.”
San Francisco Italian Athletic Club



San Francisco’s Italian-American Community celebrates the Italian Heritage Festival & Parade, featuring Italian and Italian-American dignitaries, music, performances, floats, and representatives of Italian and Italian-American organizations and businesses.


Founded in 1917,  the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club (SFIAC) is the heartbeat of the Italian community in San Francisco. 

We are a thriving fraternal organization and have catered weddings, parties, cultural and community-based events to Italians (and non-Italians) for generations. 

Today we have over 750 members and continue to grow. Our facility features a member exclusive bar and gymnasium, along with a ballroom and balcony room for outside events - weddings, corporate events/meetings, parties and more.

Sacramento


The Italian Cultural Society's mission is to serve the cultural needs of our community by providing some of the best and most unique cultural programs and activities in our region.  The Italian Center in Carmichael is the heart of these activities and programs which can not be found elsewhere. 

The Italian Cultural Society is a nonprofit 501-C(3) organization which serves the community and works to promote and preserve the study of Italian language and culture. 






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